May 25, 2024
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Do Western Negotiators Still Have Leverage with Iran?

TIP–A series of boasts by Iranian officials in recent weeks is deepening concerns that Western negotiators now lack the necessary leverage to extract meaningful concessions from Tehran. The comments, ranging from boasts about Iranian military power to its relations with Western countries currently engaged in negotiations. This just days before diplomats from Tehran are set to meet with the P5+1 global powers over the country’s nuclear program.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps General Ramezan Sharif boasted last week that Western powers had foreclosed the possibility of military intervention against the Islamic Republic. Sharif blasted Western media outlets–specifically citing the BBC–as, per the Jerusalem Post, of “being complicit in an insidious propaganda campaign to undermine the confidence of Iran’s citizens and spread disinformation about its interests.”

Iranian media reported bragging from the deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), Asqar Zarean, concerning Iranian development of laser technology for medical purposes. Analysts recently suggested the technology could equally be turned toward laser enrichment of uranium. The technique is considered a “silver bullet” in creating weapons grade uranium, allowing the Iranians to build significantly smaller and better hidden infrastructure. Iranian media also quoted nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi as saying that Iran would need to increase its enrichment 12-fold over the next eight years.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the new chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Bloomberg View this week that lawmakers in Washington were skeptical that Iran has been negotiating in good faith. Nunes is one of several top lawmakers who are expected to lead the charge on Capitol Hill for increased Congressional oversight over Iran negotiations, as well as for new sanctions to be put in place against Tehran.

 

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